Page 1268 - The Beast Within

3rd Sep 2019, 6:00 AM in School Raze
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The Beast Within
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 3rd Sep 2019, 6:00 AM edit delete
Again, as ever, "let people do the cool thing." If they've earned it.

Actually, to expand upon a recent tweet from a friend of mine: The improv rule is "Yes and," but the DM's job is more to say, "Yes but." The game is about challenge and catharsis, so the rewards need obstacles in front of them.

Notice: Guest comic submissions are open! Guidelines here. Deadline: January 27th, 2023.



JoeHow 3rd Sep 2019, 8:00 AM edit delete reply
What some players, especially new ones,fail to realize is it's not always the dice that sway your chances but what you say/do. Behind that screen is a person, and if you touch/connect with/move/etc that person you'd be surprised at what you can accomplish.
Digo Dragon 3rd Sep 2019, 10:20 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Unfortunately I've dealt with too many unimaginative GMs who just blindly follow dice results and not think to go with a "Yes but" idea that would make the game fun.
Happy Balor 3rd Sep 2019, 11:13 AM edit delete reply
So on the one hand, I agree that a DM who doesn't have much imagination can be bad, but on the other hand, I've dealt with a GM who ran Pathfinder like it was a White Wolf Parlor LARP. Any social stuff had to be actually acted out, so if you wanted to be a Bard, you had to *actually* be good at RP and negotiation/lying to get anything done with your Diplomacy or Bluff rolls. When the GM asked me why I always built either Dex-focused skillmonkeys who got information via stealth and Disable Device checks, or combat monsters that used violence and Intimidation to get things done, I told him, "Because, I saw what happened when the other person at our table who's bad at social stuff tried to play a Bard, and I'm not about that. I'm willing to fill whatever role nobody else wants, but I don't have the IRL skills to do face stuff in your games." The DM thought about it and said, "Fair enough," so at least they weren't a total ass, but it still wasn't fun being limited like that.
Digo 3rd Sep 2019, 2:48 PM edit delete reply
Yeah the other side extremism is just as bad. Totally understand that would be frustrating! I play a bard and I can't always think of a good insult for Vicious Mockery so you know? Sometimes just have to understand that the character is gonna know more than the player.
Borg 3rd Sep 2019, 8:04 AM edit delete reply
Are you there, Tree of Harmony? It's me, Ocellus.
Story Time 3rd Sep 2019, 12:08 PM edit delete reply
Any story about the GM allowing one overpowered ability just for only that game?
hankroyd 3rd Sep 2019, 12:47 PM edit delete reply
The bad guy wanted 6 artifacts to turn himself to a god with unlimited power. Destroy all other gods and rule all planes.

Other gods didn't like this very much, and tried to help the PC, but in the end, the bad guy got the artifacts and all seemed lost.

The Gods did a last stand before the end ... weakening for a few second the link between the artifacts and the bad guy and distracting him long enough so each players can grab one of them.

Meaning the final fight were the boss with only 'one third' of infinite power against four PCs with 'one sixth' of infinite power each.

When asked how does this work, I just said :
Technically your characters are able to create everything and alter any laws of physics, your opponent can do the same. there is no rule anymore, go wild!Just tell what you want to do, it's possible!

Time travel, dimension hopping, meteor blasting fight took over. It was crazy, it really really felt like the end of a campaign. Everyone enjoyed it.
Malroth 3rd Sep 2019, 12:53 PM edit delete reply
Gnome Artificer. Permanent Body swap with the Tarasque. Nuff said.
Digo 3rd Sep 2019, 2:50 PM edit delete reply
I've given a group a tactical nuclear bomb once. They set it off in the bbeg's lair and I let them roll the damage dice.

Yeah that last part took about 35 minutes.
OblivionProphet 3rd Sep 2019, 10:53 PM Spin To Win!!! edit delete reply
So, I had rolled up a Tortle Fighter for a one-shot and because of the play-group being a bunch of memers, I made his name Squirtle.

The DM accepted it, and let me have the equivelant to Rapid-Spin. Squirtle weilded a Warhammer.

One of the encounters took place in a large pool full of mermaids.

Me: "I swim out to the middle of the pool."

DM: "Oh, alright. Monk, what do you do?"

Monk: "Oh I back away from the pool, right up against the wall"


DM: "... F@!%"
Kira 5th Sep 2019, 4:50 AM sooo edit delete reply
so you used whirlpool against water types? man you must suck at pokemon more then I do (ths is a joke)
Armor plot 3rd Sep 2019, 3:02 PM edit delete reply
On a D&D campaign recently, we derailled the GM because two of our members had a deep deep hatred against slavers. And we just came across 2 ships of them, 160 orcs, we're lvl 3.

Still we manufacture bombs (got an artificer with lucky dice) and go sink their ships. The rogue rolls stealth to place the bombs : two critical failures in a row.

The GM was desperate to get us on the rails again so let us go away with it, missed the opportunity of an awesome chase across the seas. I was so disappointed.

Great reward in game, but no challenge, totally went armor plot on us, I'd rather have a TPK. It was obvious and not fun at all.
Xelmon 3rd Sep 2019, 8:12 PM edit delete reply
Out of the few DM's I've played with, the longest serving DM's were one of very distinct "Yes and", and a very distinct "Yes but".

We've started plenty of one-shots and mini-campaigns with the "Yes and" DM. He knew his stuff, it's just, well, we got killed rather fast and it was very much "Go kill this stuff".
I will say that it was thanks to him that I got my feet wet in the DnD world, and you have to start somewhere. =3

OTOH I've done one *Long* campaign with the "Yes but"... And through his interpretation of the scenario, what it should look/feel like, and the fact that at the Big-Bad we almost had a TPK (3 down, 1 quasi-alive, 1 alive [oddly enough, me]), with some creative thinking on the DM's side and a few lucky rolls to save At-The-Last-Minute, we // he turned it around into a victory.
Like, if all DM's were like him, I think we'd live in a better world, 'cause it came to an *Epic* conclusion that way!
Guest 4th Sep 2019, 8:36 AM edit delete reply
IMO, a DM's job is just as much saying "no" than it is saying "yes", with the caveat that you say "no" less often, but when it is said it is crucial.
Guest 4th Sep 2019, 8:45 AM edit delete reply
Got to say, though answering "I'm scared I'm not strong enough to protect my friends" with "oh ****, you're right, here's a more powerful body" is kinda a terrible friendship lesson, even if pragmaticaly it's logical to empower the heroes to make sure they succeed.

Difference between a classic story and a RPG session, inthe end.
Newbiespud 4th Sep 2019, 1:11 PM edit delete reply
This also isn't in the context of a friendship lesson in this timeline: It's a psychological trap that the tree has been enchanted into inflicting upon them.
Guest 5th Sep 2019, 1:37 AM edit delete reply
If it is a psychological trap, shouldn't being unable to let go the power keep you trapped?

I mean, it's kinda like being kept in a golden cage filled wirh magic items by someone who's enchanted to not let you go as long as you're carrying anything that comes from this place, and the solution is "convince the enchanted gate keeper to let you walk out of it with the loot".
Boris Carlot 5th Sep 2019, 3:04 AM edit delete reply
If all magic is going down the toilet anyway, the enchantment will break on it's own (and they'll have more important things to worry about). If they save magic, they'll have plenty of help to deal with any consequences down the road - assuming the tree hasn't just ripped out their soul and used it for confetti or something, but that ain't the sort of game the GM is running.
Jennifer 4th Sep 2019, 1:40 PM edit delete reply
Have been using the Yes, But rule in my freeform games at work for a while. I also allow rerolls - for a price.
Rakaydos 4th Sep 2019, 2:25 PM edit delete reply
The FFG Star Wars and Genesys rulesets (the ones with the dice that dont have numbers on them, just funny symbols) embrace "yes, but" as a core mechanic.

When you roll a dice pool (consisting of both "good" and "bad" dice) and cancel everything out, you will have rolled a net success/failure... but you will have also rolled some of the other type of symbol, Advantages/Complications. So the dice will literally tell you whether it's "Yes, and", "Yes, But", "No, but," or "No, and."
And because you usually wont have just one of the symbol, it well tell you how MUCH "but" or "and" to expect.

What that "and/but" is, there's guidlines for, but it's really up to the group.